When it comes to commercial driver training and licensure, there are two main avenues that individuals tend to pursue. The first, contracted CDL training, requires those being taught their driving skills to agree to an employment contract with a potential employer, with that employer generally locking down a new driver to only work for them and requiring them to return a portion of their paychecks to pay for the training costs. On the other hand, private schools, like Shippers’ Choice, offer new drivers more freedom of choice, with trainees able to have more flexibility and one-on-one time with instructors and no restrictions on their future job prospects.
In contracted training situations, a prospective driver generally joins a company to receive training in return for giving the trucking company a portion of their pay for a duration of time, typically a year or longer. During that time, the driver cannot work for other companies and will be starting off on the road at a fiscal disadvantage, with less money in their pocket to show for their labors. While these programs require very little or no upfront investment by the student, the year or more of stunted wages and lack of job mobility can stifle a fledgling trucker’s early career.
However, with private driving instruction like that offered by Shippers’ Choice, would-be drivers can get in the passing lane and move on to a faster pace of career advancement and full earnings. After graduating from a private program, drivers can apply for open positions with any company without restriction. Shippers’ Choice has partnerships with 65 leading employers, and many other programs participate in similar arrangements to help new grads find work in the field.
Contracted schools also tend to only focus on the criteria that the driving company cares about, which can further work against a new trucker by stunting their road skills. For example, if a trucking company only operates automatic transmission vehicles, drivers may not receive instruction in how to shift a manual transmission truck. This can limit a driver’s marketability to other prospective employers, and means that the costs of training and lost wages from doing contracted work for the school’s sponsor have afforded that driver an incomplete road education.
On the other hand, private-schooled drivers receive individual attention and help to ensure they have mastery of all aspects of truck driving. This means that a private graduate will enter the workforce with a more complete understanding of trucks and equipment, making them generally more marketable to employers than drivers who may have received a company-specific training. With schools like Shippers’ Choice, as well, training drivers don’t have to worry about being kicked out of a program and have more direct flexibility and control of their education.
In the next blog, we will cover some of the other advantages of private instruction, including flexible and attentive instruction and the growing demand in the industry for privately trained drivers with comprehensive skills – and what that can mean for a new driver’s earning potential!
For more information on getting started with your training, stop by one of our convenient training centers or give us a call today.